Why do I do this for a living?
Don’t worry, this isn’t a This is Your Life (Google it) detailed history of how/why I got to this point in my professional career – I save that for art school/college lectures – just so I can look at the faces of the students starting to fall asleep!
At a young age, I was always fascinated by still or photographic images. Whether they were images of rock bands or historical images of places and events, they gave my imagination a window into far off places or things I felt I would never experience. Looking back, it’s strange that these emotions and feelings were drawn from still images and not TV and the moving image. Without knowing it, I was seduced by the power of the still image.
Eventually I had the chance in my early 20’s, to study at art college and then on to university to I suppose, follow my dream of becoming a photographer. Back then I didn’t really know there could be a ‘career’ in creating images or really how ‘photography’ worked. I was a really good technician and black and white printer but really no good at self-promotion or had any idea how to make a living out of these skills.
Without boring you to death, I had a few ‘lucky breaks’ along the way. To put it another way, when an opportunity presented itself, I was fortunate that I had the right type and style of work to back it up or had produced work for agencies that won awards. This gradually increased my profile and put me on the radar of other ad/design agencies. It grew from there.
Over the years, I have gained extensive knowledge working for a real diverse range of clients and have thoroughly enjoyed all of it – from producing images on film through to the present day and digital capture for commercial projects. The business has adapted, evolved and progressed to a point where approximately 30 percent of what I do now is short films and video! I do still create images on film – just for fun – see my many Journal uploads for this.
Whilst I am on the subject and before you think it, I never see stills photography as an apprenticeship into movie-making and videography. They’re both important with nuanced techniques and skill-sets. However, unsurprisingly given my introduction into photography, I believe that stills photography is inherently more powerful and engaging than the moving image for a number of reasons.
When I analyse a still image it’s amazing to think that I am looking at a fraction of a second in time. Like stopping a clock and recording what that moment is. Even more mind-blowing for me, is that you can set the camera to take a long exposure and condense that moment of say one minute into a single image. That is something that can never be achieved in any other way other than with a stills camera.
All of the other technical stuff around creating an image like lighting and colour temperature etc. is an endless learning curve. I of course, will always find cameras and lights as interesting pieces of kit (perhaps not so much now with cameras as they all look the same!) But ultimately it’s about the creation of images.
Whether problem solving for commercial clients or creating something beautiful just because it’s there isn’t really such a bad way to make a living.
I can think of worse things!
PS-Images below indicate the passing of time, ten years if youre wondering!
Seeya soon mb